The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
which lasted about an hour.  One of them seemed very much impressed, and labored hard to convince his host that he was a good master and would treat his men well.  Finally one of the party asked William Wright to produce the men.  He replied that he would not do that, that they might search his premises if they wished to, but they could not compel him to bring forth the fugitives.  Seeing that they had been duped, they became very angry and proceeded forthwith to search the house and all the outhouses immediately around it, without, however, finding those whom they sought.  As they left the house and went toward the barn, William Wright, waving his hand toward the former, said, “You see they are not anywhere there.”  They then went to the barn and gave it a thorough search.  Between it and the house, a little away from the path, but in plain sight, stood the carriage-house, which they passed by without seeming to notice.  After they had gone, poor Tom was found in this very house, curled up under the seats of the old-fashioned family carriage.  He had never come to the house at all, but had heard the voices of his hunters from his hiding-place, during their whole search.  About two o’clock in the morning, Fenton was found by William Wright out in the field.  He had run along the bed of a small water course, dry at that time of year, until he came to a rye field amid whose high grain he hid himself until he thought the danger was past.  From William Wright’s the slave-catchers went to Joel Wierman’s, where, despite all that could be done, they got poor Sam, took him off to Maryland and sold him to the traders to be taken far south.

In 1856 William Wright was a delegate from Adams county to the Convention at Philadelphia which nominated John C. Fremont for President of the United States.  As the counties were called in alphabetical order, he responded first among the Pennsylvania delegation.  It is thought that he helped away during his whole life, nearly one thousand slaves.  During his latter years, he was aided in the good work by his children, who never hesitated to sacrifice their own pleasure in order to help away fugitives.

His convictions on the subject of slavery seem to have been born with him, to have grown with his growth, and strengthened with his strength.  He could not remember when he first became interested in the subject.

William Wright closed his long and useful life on the 25th of October, 1865.  More fortunate than his co-laborer, Daniel Gibbons, he lived to see the triumph of the cause in which he had labored all his life.  His latter years were cheered by the remembrance of his good deeds in the cause of human freedom.  Modest and retiring, he would not desire, as he does not need, a eulogy.  His labors speak for themselves, and are such as are recorded upon the Lamb’s Book of Life.


Dr. Fussell, whose death occurred within the current year, was no ordinary man.  He was born in Chester county, Pa., in 1794, his ancestors being members of the Society of Friends, principally of English origin, who arrived in America during the early settlement of Pennsylvania, some being of the number who, with William Penn, built their homes on the unbroken soil, where Philadelphia now stands.

Project Gutenberg
The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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